Just because we took last week off doesn't mean deniers did, too. Fortunately, the chatter post-COP27 looked a whole lot like the chatter at the start of it, focused on toxifying the simple and fair idea that polluters should pay to clean up their messes.
While official UN negotiations use the phrase "loss and damages," some activists have called it "climate reparations," and sure enough, that's the language that disinfo outlets use to make their readers angry about the thought of sending their hard-taxed dollars to what they consider shit-hole countries. (Not, of course, that these outlets actually quote climate justice activists using the phrase in the pieces to even pretend to justify their use of the term as a dog whistle.)
Most, like the Daily Caller, Free Beacon, and Wall Street Journal's opinion page, were clearly using the same talking points about COP27 being a (Sharm el-) "shakedown" and quoting professional disinformation spreaders, letting "reparations" trigger their readers without saying anything too explicit themselves.
But one really stood out. Washington Examiner's Editor-in-Chief Hugo Gurdon apparently thought contributor Dan Hannan's piece calling "climate reparations" "laughable" was insufficient, and wrote his own column on "the climate grift." Hopefully no one read it when published the Examiner published it the day before Thanksgiving, lest they lose their appetite at his totally not accidentally self-revealing line: "Prompted by their own pink ideology and thrilled by the lash of Greta Thunberg, our 'leaders' adopt a posture of penitent readiness to be punished."
Gurdon does not explain what a "pink ideology" is, and thankfully does not extend the BSDM metaphor starring former child activist Greta Thunberg any further in the otherwise forgettable piece.
More interesting and less stomach-turning was a take over at the Daily Caller. On Thanksgiving, they published an opinion piece by Rich Berdan, "a freelance writer based out of Detroit, MI." In it, he talks about "climate zealots" and reparations, of course, rattles off some already-debunked disinformation.
We hadn't heard of Berdan before, and given that the Daily Caller offered nothing but his freelance status in the byline, we went looking for more context with a good ol' Google search.
Now that may sound like a basic step, but apparently it's one the untrained political activists posing as journalists over at the Daily Caller are unfamiliar with, because while this isn't yet another case of the Daily Caller "accidentally" (they claim) hiring another white supremacist, it's not much better.
Because it turns out that Berdan also appears to do a little "freelance" for the Russian International Affairs Council, blogging for the think tank created to spread Russian propaganda and overseen by Foreign Affairs minister and sanctioned Russian official Sergey Lavrov.
And by what is surely only a terrible coincidence, Berdan also publishes pro-Russia/anti-Ukraine columns, including one at the Daily Caller where Berdan quotes Lavrov then calls on Republicans to end Putin's war "by stopping the flow of money and weapons" to Ukraine.
Despite the obvious political bias of the outlet founded by Tucker Carlson, its steady stream of Koch-sponsored disinformation and Koch et al funding, and now its publication of Russian state propaganda, the Daily Caller is accredited with the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) that Facebook uses for its content moderation, and which Google/YouTube have just donated $12 million.
You can file a complaint with the IFCN here.